Yesterday at Slaw, I wrote about preparedness. Today’s Tip is to be perfectly prepared before you start your legal research question. I think that there are two steps to perfect legal research preparedness. Please comment if you agree or disagree!
Preparedness Step 1 – Understand the question.
- put the question in context by review text books, loose-leaf services (or – my preference – eBooks that started out as loose-leaf services) and other secondary sources of words you should be using
- check for legislation by reviewing the footnotes of those secondary sources
- look for key cases referenced in those same footnotes
Preparedness Step 2 – Use the right search language
- Place the output of step 1 in your legal research memo so that you have everything ready for writing
- You will have to find the current law on the topic, so, write out your search in advance (keep it in the memo so you can copy and paste into the search boxes you are using on various sites